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Tour-Guide Strike May Hit Gray Line

Too cold, underpaid.

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Among the holiday attractions for out-of-towners this year might be a tour-guide strike. The Transport Workers Union local representing guides at Gray Line tours is threatening one after their contract expires November 15. “I’ve never worked for anyone that has as much disrespect for its customers and its employees,” says guide David Chachere, a filmmaker and union leader. The guides are looking for increased pay (the top rate is $16.73 an hour; they want it raised to $20) and changes to work rules that, they say, require them to work from the vehicles’ exposed top levels in temperatures down to 20 degrees. “That’s 20 degrees ambient,” says another guide. “That doesn’t include windchill, and on the top of a moving bus it’s all windchill.” They want the cutoff moved to 32 degrees. Mike Alvich, an executive with Gray Line, declined to comment on the negotiations.

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